What are the most common orthopedic surgeries?

Orthopedic surgery is a surgical procedure performed on the musculoskeletal system for the correction of injury or other conditions. The musculoskeletal system is made up of bones, joints, and soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Any part of the musculoskeletal system can become impaired through injury/accident or caused by other degenerative conditions.


Orthopedic surgery can performed through traditional open surgery, or arthroscopically. Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure on a joint that is minimally invasive as treatment is provided using an arthroscope inserted into the joint through a small incision.

Most orthopedic surgeries are performed on the ankle, knee, hip, wrist, elbow, shoulder or spine. The most common procedures include:

  1. Soft tissue repair, for torn ligaments and tendons.
  2. Joint replacement, in which a damaged joint is replaced with a prosthesis.
  3. Revision joint surgery, in which a preexistent implant is changed with a new one.
  4. Bone fracture repair
  5. Debridement, during which damaged soft tissues or bones are removed.
  6. Fusion of bones, in which bones are fused with grafts.
  7. Spine fusion, during which the spinal bones (vertebrae) are joined together.
  8. Osteotomy, aimed at correcting bone deformities.


Dr. Marshall P. Allegra is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with over 23 years experience treating patients in Monmouth County. Depending on the type of condition or injury, Dr. Allegra may recommend fixing a fracture with rods, plates, and screws that will hold the fracture together during healing. Contact the offices today for answers to any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment.

Adding Steps To Your Life

The warmer weather is a great time to start achieving your goal to become more active. It’s surprising how easy it is to add simple activities to your everyday life and increase how much you move throughout the day.

Regular exercise can help people of all ages and levels of physician ability lead a healthier life. Exercise helps to keep our bodies functioning better, and keeps heart disease, diabetes, and many other diseases at bay. Exercise is a key ingredient when it comes to losing weight.

Regular exercise can

  • Improve your chances of living longer and living healthier
  • Help protect you from developing heart disease and stroke or its precursors, high blood pressure and undesirable blood lipid patterns
  • Help protect you from developing certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer, and possibly lung and endometrial cancer
  • Help prevent type 2 diabetes
  • Help prevent the irreplaceable loss of bone known as osteoporosis
  • Reduce the risk of falling and improve cognitive function among older adults
  • Relieve symptoms of depression and improves mood
  • Prevent weight gain, promote weight loss, and help keep weight off after weight loss
  • Improve heart-lung and muscle fitness
  • Improve sleep

Try incorporating the following tips into your daily schedule:

Participate in activities that you enjoy doing! Activities such as gardening, walking, and even dancing can assist in your journey to becoming physically active and healthy. Develop a support group and have friends and family join you in your goal. Exercise can be a wonderful time to bond with a family member or a friend.

But take it slow to avoid injury:

  • Plan to be physically active at a time when you are most energized. This allows you to fully benefit from the workout, and it prevents injuries that may occur if you are physically or mentally sluggish during your workout.
  • Warm up before you start. Jumping right into physical activity can cause injury and muscle strain. By adding five to ten minutes to your routine, you give yourself a chance to warm-up.
  • After being physically active, spend five minutes or so walking or moving around slowly until your heart rate goes back to normal. Cooling down helps to prevent an abrupt drop in blood pressure and may help prevent muscle stiffness.
  • Stretch after your muscles are warmed up. When stretching, don’t bounce. Instead, hold each stretch comfortably for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Making sure your body has enough fluids is important to keeping your body temperature normal and lubricate your joints, especially in the summer. When dehydrated, you may feel fatigued, have headaches, become nauseated, or feel dizzy.
  • Pay attention to your breathing while being physically active. Rapid and shallow breathing can lead to shortness of breath and even cause dizziness or fainting. By breathing naturally and deeply, you will be able to be physically active longer and with less effort. During strength training, a common mistake people often make is holding their breath. Don’t hold your breath, but exhale when exerting your muscles and inhale when relaxing.
  • Listen to your body for warning signs. Be mindful of the differences between your body’s normal responses to physical activity and abnormal responses that should be warning signs to STOP and get medical help.

Using these tips to become more physically active will help you in achieving your goal of living a longer, healthier life.

Bone and Joint Problems Associated with Diabetes

November is American Diabetes Month, a time set aside to raise awareness about diabetes and its associated risk factors.

Did you know that if you are an individual living with diabetes, you are at higher risk for some bone and joint disorders?

Certain factors such as nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), arterial disease and obesity may contribute to these conditions, but often the cause isn’t clear.

If you feel that you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk with your endocrinologist or consult a board certified orthopedic physician who will take your medical history of diabetes into account when diagnosing your condition.

Charcot Joint
Charcot (shahr-HOK) joint, also called neuropathic arthropathy, occurs when a joint deteriorates because of nerve damage – a common complication of diabetes. Charcot joint primarily affects the feet.
Symptoms include numbness and tingling or loss of sensation in the affected joints. They may become unstable, swollen or deformed. If detected early, progression of the disease can be slowed. Limited weight bearing activities and use of orthotic supports to the affected joint and surrounding structures can help.

Diabetic Hand Syndrome

Diabetic hand syndrome, also called cheiroarthropathy, is a disorder in which the skin on the hands becomes waxy and thickened. Eventually finger movement is limited. What causes diabetic hand syndrome isn’t known but it is most common in people who have had diabetes for a long time.
Over time, individuals with diabetic hand syndrome become unable to fully extend their fingers or press their palms together flat. Better management of blood glucose levels and physical therapy can slow the progress of this condition.

Osteoporosis is a disorder that causes bones to become weak and prone to fracture. People who have type 1 diabetes have an increased risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis rarely causes symptoms in the early stages. Eventually, when the disease is more advanced, individuals can experience loss of height, stopped posture or bone fractures. A healthy lifestyle, including weight bearing exercise such as walking, and eating a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D – including supplements if needed – are the best ways to address this condition.

Osteoarthritis is a joint disorder characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage. It may affect any joint in the body. People who have type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of osteoarthritis, likely due to obesity – a risk factor for type 2 diabetes – rather than to the diabetes itself.
Osteoarthritis may cause joint pain, swelling and stiffness as well as loss of joint flexibility or movement. Treatment involves exercising and maintaining a healthy weight, caring for and resting the affected joint, pain medication and, in some cases, surgery. Complimentary treatment such as acupuncture and massage can be helpful.

Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH), also called Forestier disease, is a hardening of tendons and ligaments that commonly affects the spine. DISH may be associated with type 2 diabetes, perhaps due to insulin or insulin-like growth factors that promote new bone growth.
Affected individuals may experience pain, stiffness or decreased range of motion in any affected part of the body. Treatment involves managing symptoms, usually with pain medication, and in rare cases may require surgery to remove bone that has grown due to the condition.

Dupuytren Contracture
Dupuytren contracture is a deformity in which one or more fingers are bent toward the palm. It’s caused by thickening and scarring of connective tissue in the palm of the hand and in the fingers. This condition is common in people who have had diabetes for a long time.
People affected by dupuytren contracture may notice thickening of the skin on the palm of their hand. Eventually, they may not be able to fully straighten one or more fingers. Steroid injections may help reduce inflammation. Surgery, injections and a minimally invasive procedure called aponeurotomy to break apart the thick tissue are other options if the condition prevents the ability to grasp objects.

Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder is a condition characterized by shoulder pain and limited range of motion. It typically affects only one shoulder. Although the cause is unknown, diabetes is a common risk factor.
Frozen shoulder causes pain or tenderness with shoulder movement, stiffness of the joint and decreased range of motion. If started early, aggressive physical therapy can help preserve movement and range of motion in the joint.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a constriction of the hand’s central nerve by a ligament that runs across the palm. Diabetes may account for between 5 and 16 percent of all cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. The link between diabetes and carpal tunnel syndrome may be that the ligament becomes thickened in response to collagen glycation so that it presses on the nerve. Another possibility is that diabetic neuropathy – nerve disease – damages the nerves in the hand, making them more susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Strengthening and stretching exercises under the direction of a physical therapist may be helpful. Steroids and a wrist splint can be an interim measure, and surgery may be needed eventually.


Sports participation promotes the physical and emotional well-being of children, and also encourages a lifelong habit of exercise. Although the benefits of athletic activity are significant, too much activity can lead to injury.

In recent years, orthopedic physicians have begun to see young athletes with significant increase in overuse injuries. In most cases, these are sports related.

Overuse injuries occur gradually over time, when an athletic activity is repeated so often that some areas of the body do not have enough time to recover between playing. For example, overhand pitching in baseball can result in injuries to the elbow, and swimming is often associated with injuries of the shoulder.

Because young athletes are still growing, they are at greater risk of injury than adults. The consequences of overdoing a sport can include injuries that impair growth and may lead to long-term health problems.


When a young athlete repeatedly complains of pain, a period of rest from the sport is necessary. If pain persists, it is important to seek proper medical treatment. To ensure the best possible recovery, athletes, coaches and parents must follow safe guidelines to plan a return to the game.

Overuse injuries occur in a wide range of sports, from baseball and basketball to track, soccer and gymnastics. Some of these injuries are unique to a certain sport, such as throwing injuries of the elbow and shoulder that are prevalent in baseball players. The most common overuse injuries involve the knee and foot.

Overuse injuries can affect muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and growth plates. In children, these structures are still growing, and the growth is generally uneven. Bones grow first, which pull at tight muscles and tendons. This uneven growth pattern makes young athletes more susceptible to muscle, tendon and growth plate injuries.

Growth plates are those areas of developing cartilage where bone growth occurs in children. The growth plates are weaker than the nearby ligaments and tendons. Repetitive stress can lead to injury of the growth plate and disrupt normal growth of the bone.

Concerned your young athlete may be developing an overuse injury? Make time to talk with a board certified orthopedic physician who specializes in the care of young athletes.

Rotator Cuff Injuries & Care

Rotator cuff tendonitis occurs when the tendons and muscles that help move the shoulder joint are inflamed or irritated. This condition commonly occurs in people who play sports that frequently require extending the arm over the head, such as tennis, swimming and pitching. Most people with rotator cuff tendinitis can regain full function of the shoulder without any pain after treatment.

Rotator cuff tendonitis affects the tendons and muscles that help move the shoulder joint. If you have tendinitis, it means that your tendons are inflamed or irritated. Rotator cuff tendinitis is also called impingement syndrome.

This condition usually occurs over time. It can be the result of keeping the shoulder in one position for a while, sleeping on the shoulder every night, or participating in activities that require extending the arm over the head. Sometimes, rotator cuff tendinitis can occur without any known cause.

Rotator Cuff Symptoms Worsen Over Time

The symptoms of rotator cuff tendinitis tend to get worse over time. Initial symptoms may be relieved with rest, but the symptoms can later become constant. Symptoms of rotator cuff tendinitis include:

  • Pain triggered by raising or lowering the arm
  • A clicking sound when raising the arm
  • Stiffness
  • Pain and swelling in the front of the shoulder and side of the arm
  • Pain that causes you to wake from sleep
  • Pain when reaching behind the back
  • A loss of mobility and strength in the affected arm

How Is Rotator Cuff Tendinitis Diagnosed?

Your orthopedic physician will begin by examining your shoulder to see where you’re feeling pain and tenderness. Your doctor will also test your range of motion and the strength of your shoulder joint. They may also examine your neck to check for conditions such as a pinched nerve or arthritis that can cause symptoms similar to rotator cuff tendinitis.

Your orthopedic physician may order imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis of rotator cuff tendinitis and rule out any other causes of your symptoms. An X-ray may be ordered to see if you have a bone spur. Your doctor may order an ultrasound or MRI to check for inflammation in the rotator cuff and to check for any tearing.

How Is Rotator Cuff Tendinitis Treated?

Initial treatment of rotator cuff tendinitis involves managing pain and swelling to promote healing. This can be done by:

  • Avoiding activities that cause pain
  • Applying cold packs to your shoulder three to four times per day
  • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen
  • Additional treatment may include physical therapy and steroids

If nonsurgical treatment isn’t successful, your orthopedic physician may recommend surgery. Most people experience full recovery after having rotator cuff surgery. The most noninvasive form of shoulder surgery is accomplished via arthroscopy. This involves two or three small cuts around the shoulder, through which your surgeon will insert various instruments. One of these instruments will have a camera, so your surgeon can view the damaged tissue through the small incisions.

Home Care for Your Shoulder

There are several things you can do to help reduce pain from rotator cuff tendinitis. These techniques can also help prevent rotator cuff tendinitis or another flare-up of pain.

Shoulder self-care includes:

  • Using good posture while sitting
  • Avoiding lifting your arms repetitively over your head
  • Taking breaks from repetitive activities
  • Avoiding sleeping on the same side every night
  • Avoiding carrying a bag on only one shoulder
  • Carrying things close to your body

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10 Ways to Build Healthy Bones and Keep Them Strong

Weak bones may seem like a problem of aging, but there’s plenty we can do early in life – in our 20s and even teens – to make sure bones stay healthy later in life.

Bones are the support system of the body, so it’s important to keep them strong and healthy. Bones are continuously being broken down and rebuilt in tiny amounts. Before about age 30, when bones typically reach peak bone mass, the body is creating new bone faster, but after age 30, bone building shifts and more bone is lost than gained.

Some people have a lot of savings in their “bone bank” because of factors including genetics, diet, and how much bone they built up as teenagers. The natural depletion of bone doesn’t affect these individuals too drastically. But in those with a smaller bone bank, when the body can’t create new bone as fast as the old bone is lost, osteoporosis can set in, causing bones to become weak and brittle and to fracture more easily. The disease is most common in postmenopausal women over the age of 65, and in men over the age of 70.

Although menopause and older age may seem like it is a long way off, once these milestones set in, it’s extremely hard to reverse. Since there’s no way of being 100 percent positive you’ll develop osteoporosis, the best way to counteract it is to take steps earlier in life to beef up bone mass (and prevent its loss) as much as possible.

Unfortunately, some are more likely than others to develop osteoporosis and weak bones in general, especially white and Asian postmenopausal women. But there are some things that can be changed to bump up bone mass. Here are 10 tips to make deposits in your bone bank for a healthier future.

1. Know your family history. Family history is a key indicator of bone health. Those with a parent or sibling who has or had osteoporosis are more likely to develop it.

2. Boost calcium consumption. When most people think bones, they think calcium. This mineral is essential for the proper development of teeth and bones. Calcium also contributes to proper muscle function, nerve signaling, hormone secretion, and blood pressure.

Help your body absorb calcium by pairing calcium-rich foods with those high in vitamin D. Foods that are good sources of calcium include yogurt, cheese, milk, spinach, and collard greens.

3. Don’t forget the vitamin D. Where there’s calcium, there must be vitamin D. The two work together to help the body absorb bone-boosting calcium. Boost vitamin D consumption by munching on shrimp, fortified foods like cereal and orange juice, sardines, eggs (in the yolks) and tuna, or opt for a vitamin D supplement.

4. Boost bone density with vitamin K. Vitamin K is mostly known for helping with blood clotting, but it also helps the body make proteins for healthy bones. Foods like kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, and spinach are high in vitamin K.

5. Pump up the potassium. Potassium isn’t necessarily known for aiding bone health: it’s a mineral that helps nerves and muscles communicate and also helps cells remove waste. But it turns out potassium may neutralize acids that remove calcium from the body.

Studies in both pre- and postmenopausal women have shown that a diet high in potassium can improve bone health. Load up on potassium by eating foods sweet potatoes, white potatoes (with the skin on), yogurt, and bananas.

6. Make exercise a priority. Regular exercise is key to keep a number of health issues at bay, and bone health is no exception. Living a sedentary lifestyle is considered a risk factor for osteoporosis.   What type of exercise is most effective? Weight-bearing exercises like running, walking, jumping rope, skiing, and stair climbing keep bones strongest. Bonus for the older readers: improved strength and balance helps prevent falls (and the associated fractures) in those who already have osteoporosis.

7. Consume less caffeine. Caffeine does have some health benefits, but unfortunately not for our bones. Too much of it can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium.

8. Cool it on the booze. But like caffeine, there’s no need to quit entirely. While heavy alcohol consumption can cause bone loss (because it interferes with vitamin D doing its job), moderate consumption (that’s one drink per day for women, two per day for men) is fine — and recent studies actually show it may help slow bone loss.

9. Quit smoking. Here’s yet another reason to lose the cigarettes: multiple studies have shown that smoking can prevent the body from efficiently absorbing calcium, decreasing bone mass.

10. Don’t be an astronaut. Not to squash any childhood dreams, but because of hours and hours of weightlessness and low-calcium diets, astronauts often suffer from space-induced osteoporosis. Space-anything sounds kind of awesome, but space bones definitely aren’t: astronauts can lose up to 1 to 2 percent of their bone mass per month on a mission! For those who simply must visit the moon, there is a possible solution: two studies have found that vitamin K can help build back astronauts’ lost bone — more than calcium and vitamin D.

Orthopedic Injuries Rise with Hoverboard Popularity

Hoverboards, one of the hottest gifts for both kids and adults this past holiday season, are also becoming a popular reason for visits to the emergency room.
An item that is a mixture of a skateboard and a Segway, a hoverboard allows the rider to stand on a platform that will accelerate and move freely in the direction of the rider’s weight. While fun and perhaps exhilarating, hoverboards are also putting some riders at risk.
Orthopedic physicians are seeing an uptick in injuries to bones and joints, wrist and ankle injuries, and fractures. Other injuries associated with hoverboards include spinal fractures, facial lacerations, head trauma with concussion, and contusions. Some injuries are more serious because of the height and speed behind the fall.
Riders need to have good balance on the devices, which don’t have a handle. The faster riders go, the higher the injury risk. Hoverboards can speed up to 12 miles per hour.
To avoid and prevent serious injury from hoverboards, follow these safety tips:
* Wear a helmet
* Wear wrist guards, elbow pads and knee pads
* Practice and become familiar with the hoverboard in an open, soft flat field
* Be mindful of vehicles and other forms of traffic and impediments (stay off the roads)
Supervise children using hoverboards and take the same precautions as you would for using a scooter, bicycle or roller blades, especially wearing a certified safety helmet.
When it comes to hoverboard safety for children and adults alike, start slow and make sure you have something stable to hold on to while you’re getting a feel for the hoverboard.

Lifestyle Changes To Manage Arthritis Pain

What you do or don’t do every day can have a major impact on your joints and the level of arthritis pain you experience. Arthritis is a leading cause of pain and disability worldwide.

Whatever your condition, you can work to stay ahead of your pain by:

  • Talking to your orthopedic physician about your symptoms, arthritis related or not. Sometimes seemingly unrelated problems are connected. Your doctor will know for sure.
  • Give your orthopedic physician complete information about your medical condition and medications, including over the counter medications and supplements.
  • Ask your orthopedic physician for a clear definition of the type of arthritic you have.
  • Find out whether any of your joints are already damaged.

Arthritis affects about 36 percent of obese American adults, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention. A healthy body weight is important to your body’s overall health, including your joints. Joints that are stressed by bearing the burden of excess pounds show more wear and tear, inflammation and stiffness, leading to arthritic pain.

Consider making these changes to help reduce your arthritis pain:

  • Exercise for at least 20 minutes every day to keep the pounds off and reduce arthritis pain and stiffness.
  • Eat a healthy diet of low-fat, low-calorie foods and plan your meals and snacks to be sure you are getting lots of fruits and vegetables through your diet.
  • Get plenty of vitamin C to help manage joint inflammation. Studies have shown that vitamin C may be helpful in managing inflammation, so dig into an orange or have a glass of grapefruit juice.
  • Manage your weight. Even a few extra pounds can worsen your arthritis pain, so talk to your doctor to determine your healthiest weight. Focus on that number as your goal, and track your weight loss until you reach it.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking causes stress on connective tissues, which leads to more arthritis pain.
  • Avoid alcohol. Don’t medicate yourself with alcohol to manage pain; it will only create more problems and add calories to your diet.

Schedule an appointment with a board certified orthopedic physician to get tips on exercise and other common concerns when coping with arthritis symptoms and arthritis pain.

Understanding Sciatica

Sciatica is a symptom of a problem with the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body.


It controls muscles in the back of your knee and lower leg and provides feeling to the back of your thigh, part of your lower leg, and the sole of your foot. When you have sciatica, you have pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling. It can start in the lower back and extend down your leg to your calf, foot, or even your toes. Sciatica usually occurs on only one side of your body.

Sciatica can consist of leg pain, which might feel like a bad leg cramp, or it can be excruciating, shooting pain that makes standing or sitting nearly impossible. The pain might be worse when you sit, sneeze, or cough.

What Causes Sciatica?

Sciatica might be a symptom of a “pinched nerve” affecting one or more of the lower spinal nerves. The nerve might be pinched inside or outside of the spinal canal as it passes into the leg.

Conditions that cause sciatica:

  • A herniated or slipped disc that causes pressure on a nerve root — This is the most common cause of sciatica.
  • Piriformis syndrome — This develops when the piriformis muscle, a small muscle that lies deep in the buttocks, becomes tight or spasms, which can put pressure on and irritate the sciatic nerve.
  • Spinal stenosis — This condition results from narrowing of the spinal canal with pressure on the nerves.
  • Spondylolisthesis — This is a slippage of one vertebra so that it is out of line with the one above it, narrowing the opening through which the nerve exits

How Is Sciatica Treated?

Medicine — Pain medicines and anti-inflammatory drugs help to relieve pain and stiffness, allowing for increased mobility and exercise. There are many common over-the-counter medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.

Muscle relaxants might be prescribed to relieve the discomfort associated with muscle spasms. However, these medicines might cause confusion in older people. Depending on the level of pain, prescription pain medicines might be used in the initial period of treatment.

Physical therapy —The goal of physical therapy is to find exercise movements that decrease sciatic pain by reducing pressure on the nerve. A program of exercise often includes stretching exercises to improve flexibility of tight muscles and aerobic exercise, such as walking.

The therapist might also recommend exercises to strengthen the muscles of your back, abdomen, and legs.

Spinal injections — An injection of a cortisone-like anti-inflammatory medicine into the lower back might help reduce swelling and inflammation of the nerve roots, allowing for increased mobility.

Surgery — Surgery might be needed for people who do not respond to conservative treatment, who have progressing symptoms, and are experiencing severe pain.

Surgical options include:

  • Microdiscectomy — This is a procedure used to remove fragments of a herniated disc.
  • Laminectomy — The bone that curves around and covers the spinal cord (lamina), and the tissue that is causing pressure on the sciatic nerve are removed.

Sciatic pain usually goes away with time and rest. Most people with sciatica will get better without surgery. About half of affected individuals recover from an episode within six weeks.

Although it might not be possible to prevent all cases of sciatica, you can take steps to protect your back and reduce your risk.

  • Practice proper lifting techniques. Lift with your back straight, bringing yourself up with your hips and legs, and holding the object close to your chest. Use this technique for lifting everything, no matter how light.
  • Avoid or stop cigarette smoking, which promotes disc degeneration.
  • Exercise regularly to strengthen the muscles of your back and abdomen, which work to support your spine.
  • Use good posture when sitting, standing, and sleeping. Good posture helps to relieve the pressure on your lower back.
  • Avoid sitting for long periods.

Sciatica can occur suddenly or it can develop gradually. You might also feel weakness, numbness, or a burning or a pins-and-needles sensation down your leg, possibly even in your toes. Less common symptoms might include the inability to bend your knee or move your foot and toes.

If you think that pain could be sciatica, call your orthopedic physician for an appointment. No one needs to live with pain. Ask your orthopedic physician what treatment might be right for you.

Choosing the Right Athletic Shoe

Proper-fitting sports shoes can enhance performance and prevent injuries. The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society suggests these guidelines when purchasing a new pair of athletic shoes.

  • If possible, purchase athletic shoes from a specialty store. The staff will provide valuable input on the type of shoe needed for your sport as well as help with proper fitting. This may cost a premium in price but is worthwhile, particularly for shoes that are used often.
  • Try on athletic shoes after a workout or run, or at the end of the day. Your feet will be at their largest.
  • Wear the same type of sock that you will wear for that sport.
  • When the shoe is on your foot, you should be able to freely wiggle all of your toes.
  • The shoes should be comfortable as soon as you try them on. There is no break-in period.
  • Walk or run a few steps in your shoes. They should be comfortable.
  • Always re-lace the shoes you are trying on. You should begin at the farthest eyelets and apply even pressure as you create a crisscross lacing pattern to the top of the shoe.
  • There should be a firm grip of the shoe to your heel. Your heel should not slip as you walk or run.
  • If you participate in a sport three or more times a week, you need a sport-specific shoe.
  • It can be hard to choose from the many different types of athletic shoes available.

There are differences in design and variations in material and weight. These differences have been developed to protect the areas of the feet that encounter the most stress in a particular athletic activity.

Know Your Sport Shoes
If you play a sport three or more times per week, a sport-specific shoe may be necessary. Remember that after 300 to 500 miles of running or 300 hours of aerobic activity, the cushioning material in a shoe is usually worn down and it’s time to toss the shoes.

Many problems in the feet respond to stretching and conditioning, choosing a different shoe, and simple over-the-counter shoe modifications. However, long-term (chronic) and complicated problems of the feet may require specially designed inserts (orthoses) made of materials that concentrate relief on a particular area while supporting other areas. These conditions include severe flat foot, high arches, shin splints, Achilles tendinitis and turf toe.

To obtain the best relief for such problems, see an orthopedic surgeon, a doctor specializing in diseases of the bones and joints. The orthopedic surgeon is trained to treat problems of the foot and ankle. Working with orthopedic surgeons, pedorthists and orthotists are trained to make and modify arch supports (orthoses) and fulfill the surgeon’s prescription.

Working with these professionals will ensure you get the right shoe for the best possible treatment.